In June this year, King Salman of Saudi Arabia issued a Royal decree that instead of his nephew Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, his 31-year-old son Mohammed bin Salman will now be crown prince.
The expectations were that now Mohammed bin Salman is poised to take the throne once the present ruler, his father, abdicates the role. It was going to be a few years later, but now it seems the wheels of change are already in motion.
A source speaking to DailyMail has hinted that The King of Saudi Arabia plans to step down and announce his son as his successor next week. Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) will be the second grandson in line to the throne, because after King Abdullah, no more sons of Ibn Saud were available for succession.
With regards to the present ruler, it is being said that King Salman’s role will be similar to that of the Queen of England. He will only keep the title "Custodian of the Holy Shrines"
Now with the tacit backing of his father the 32-year-old crown prince has, in a short while established himself as the most powerful figure in the Arab world, rushing into confrontations on all sides at once. It brings to mind that King Abdullah the former ruler of Saudi Arabia had once banned Prince Mohammed bin Salman, then 26, from entering the Ministry of Defence after hearing rumours of the prince being ‘power-hungry’.
Soon after gaining the favour of the king, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the arrest of 11 princes from the royal family and over 200 members of the Saudi business elite and even tackled the conservative clerics in the kingdom.
That is not all, he has blockaded neighbouring Qatar, accused Iran of acts of war and encouraged the resignation of Lebanon’s prime minister. And in Yemen, his armed forces have created a humanitarian crisis.
The highly placed source in the Saudi Royal family reveals that the Crown Prince soon after assuming total control will gun for military action in Iran. His next target will be to enlist the help of the Israeli military to hit the Hezbollah in Lebanon.
While America and the rest of the world watch in suspicion at the change of policies and guard in the oil-rich economy, Prince Mohammed’s supporters say he is trying to turn around the kingdom’s graft-ridden and oil-dependent economy. Even while the act of the royal princes arrest sent shockwaves in Saudi Arabia, US President Donald Trump tweeted in support of Prince Salman saying: 'Some of those they are harshly treating have been “milking” their country for years!'
Yet, not many are ready to buy this explanation because this heady rush for consolidation of power and his impulsiveness is being perceived as a recipe for disaster, enough to create instability in the Gulf region. If reports are to be believed, the Prince is being advised by the former Egyptian security chief, Habib el-Adli, who has a reputation for brutality and torture under President Hosni Mubarak.
Various theories are in place to explain the behaviour exhibited by the Crown Prince – some are that he wants to prove who runs the show now that the roles have changed and send a message to possible rivals on who’s in charge. His actions are just a trailer of things about to come. While at his father’s time politics in the country used to be in consensus with the royal family and advice from the religious clerics, now he wants all the power heavily concentrated centrally, with the ruler.